Bedtime Stories - Wonder Woman
Disclaimers etc posted previously.
A breach of manners, then, to watch a guest while she slept. Even if it was a sleep from which the sleeper would awaken stripped of her immortality.
It had been painful for Diana to preside over the rites of renunciation. The governing council knew that it would be; they regarded it as punishment. After all, it was Diana's plea for the succor of Man's World that had persuaded Atalanta to leave Themyscira. More cogently, Diana had overruled the council's desire that Atalanta remain home, persuaded by the eager longing in Atalanta's eyes to intercede.
So Atalanta the fleet, the coltishly wild youth of the Amazons, had been permitted to leave the land of her birth at Diana's behest.
She had decided not to return.
It was a death, as far as Themyscira was concerned - the permanent loss of a favored daughter. It did not sit easily in a land that so rarely suffered such loss. Diana could feel the hard eyes of judgment on her when she reported back to the council that Atalanta had refused to return with her sisters.
Diana looked back to the monitor, to the woman who would wake in the morning as human as anyone else, mortal, stripped of abilities that had been hers in her native land. When Diana had explained what that would mean, Atalanta had only grinned and tossed the black mane of her hair. "But that's what I want," she'd exclaimed, eyes sparkling at the prospect. Diana was less sure, but she could not dissuade her, and now there was no turning back.
For a month Atalanta would remain under Diana's guardianship as she learned the ways of her new world and new state. Then she would be allowed to go her own way, to live the short, hard life that was all Man's World could promise her.
Diana frowned at herself, disciplining her emotions. "Brooding," she chided herself. With sudden decision, she closed the view window, and Atalanta's face winked off the screen.
Atalanta's peaceful, contented, sleeping face.
Diana reached a hand to her own cheek, wondering what expression she wore, and for a moment, she envied Atalanta.